Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of the hugely popular ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ novel, has shocked fans by revealing she has left her second husband for a woman.
The 47-year-old took to Facebook to announce her new love, best friend of 15 years Rayya Elias.
“For those of you who are doing the math here, and who are wondering if this situation is why my marriage came to an end this spring, the simple answer is yes,” Gilbert wrote.
The relationship comes on the back of some dreadful news for Elias after she was diagnosed with terminal cancer earlier this year.
“In the moment I first learned of Rayya’s diagnosis, a trap door opened at the bottom of my heart (a trap door I didn’t even know was there) and my entire existence fell straight through that door. From that moment forward, everything became about HER. I cancelled everything in my life that could be cancelled, and I went straight to her side, where I have been ever since.”
Gilbert continued; “Here is where we stand now: Rayya and I are together. I love her, and she loves me. I’m walking through this cancer journey with her, not only as her friend, but as her partner. I am exactly where I need to be — the only place I can be.”
Gilbert shot to stardom following the release of her 2006 memoir ‘Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across, Italy, India and Indonesia’ which documented her year of travel after the breakdown of her first marriage. During that year she met her second husband José Nunes. They were married for nine years until their split two months ago.
Gilbert is open and unapologetic about the reason for her split with Nunes saying after she found out about Rayya’s diagnosis something changed;
“Something happened to my heart and mind in the days and weeks following Rayya’s diagnosis. Death — or the prospect of death — has a way of clearing away everything that is not real, and in that space of stark and utter realness, I was faced with this truth: I do not merely love Rayya; I am in love with Rayya,” she wrote.
Gilbert has received thousands of well wishes and encouraging posts on social media for following her heart.
“As David Foster Wallace once wrote: ‘the truth will set you free — but not until it’s had its way with you’. Yes, it has been hard. Yes, the truth has had its way with us. And yes, the truth still stands.” Gilbert wrote.